Monthly Aphorism: On Improvements

  • You can rub and you can rub, but you can’t shine shit.

Eks tells me that was one of his grandmother’s favorite sayings.

He introduced me to the concept of a “used-car polish”: high shine over deep scratches. Sometimes, that’s exactly what the job requires.

There’s also the notion of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear (attributed variously to Jonathan Swift and Anon), which someone actually did: render the ear down to a gel, extrude thread, loom cloth, and sew up a purse. Yes, it can be done, but there’s a practical limit in there somewhere.

Contrary to what you might think, this has nothing to do with a certain Thing-O-Matic. A bit of laparoscopic surgery on our front yard just revealed that our septic leach field has filled with gunk; it’s 56 years old and hadn’t been pumped for two decades before we bought the place. The next week or two should be interesting: I can do the diagnosis, but I can’t handle this repair.

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